A detailed heat map reveals the most populated areas in GTA Online, which hosts a plethora of points of interest for players to explore.

While GTA Online’s open world offers a huge territory to explore, there are certain locations that are more popular than others which have been revealed through a detailed heat map. It’s likely subject to change though, as a new wave of GTA Online players is expected to hit the game sometime in 2021.

According to Rockstar’s recent announcement, GTA 5 along with its online component will be available to all PlayStation Plus subscribers for free on PS5 next year. The title will obviously also release for Xbox Series X, although there’s currently no information on any free offers. Still, that’s a remarkable example of longevity for a game which is coming to its third generation of consoles in a row. PS4 players will be encouraged to upgrade for the newest gaming device with monthly payouts of $1 million in GTA Online currency so that they can be prepared to join the action when GTA 5 eventually launches on PS5. But before that, there’s an opportunity to learn more about the current state of the game with some in-depth research.

The research, posted on USGamer, is targeted at uncovering behavioral patterns in players’ actions and preferences through the heat map, which represents the most populated of GTA Online’s areas. Most of them are fairly obvious when approached with just a tiny bit of understanding of how the game works. For instance, two of the hottest spots on the game’s map (represented by thick red marks) belong to popular apartments, which are commonly used to launch heist lobbies in GTA Online. Since there’s no restriction on the number of apartment owners, hundreds and thousands of players can be seen roaming around these spots in Eastern Los Santos. Their popularity is simply explained by good locations and affordable pricing.

While both of these spots are hugely popular, it’s the left one which is the absolute winner. It’s not just about the heist rooms but also the surroundings that make the location even more favorable. With such points of interest as a CEO office, Ammu-nation, and a garage, it’s clear why players tend to go for this particular property. There are some other areas on GTA Online’s map that attract players’ attention, such as Los Santos Customs in the Eastern part of the city. Interestingly, some other hot spots are located beyond Los Santos in Paleto Bay where players can take advantage of a cheap bunker and an underground facility.

Such information about GTA Online could be valuable for Rockstar when planning a layout for the next GTA title, although it is heavily rumored that GTA 6 is already on its way. Still, there’s a chance Rockstar will evenly distribute various points of interest across the GTA 6 map so that players won’t be herding around just a couple of spots. An online component will undoubtedly play a big role in the sequel as it’s been clearly demonstrated by both GTA 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2 that these features are important for a game’s longevity, and developers should be interested in offering a more diverse experience to keep players engaged.